America is built on a rich, varied history. From Mount Rushmore to the Statue of Liberty, the United States is home to some of the world’s most iconic sites.
But, another huge part of American history belongs to Twizzlers!
Twizzlers are sweet, chewy licorice-like treats that can be bought at grocery and convenience stores across the country.
But, although loved by millions, many wonder if they are suitable for vegans.
Many candies that have a toothy texture, like Twizzlers, tend to contain gelatin, a byproduct of beef and pork.
However, the good news for vegans is that Twizzlers contain no gelatin or animal-derived products.
But, are all Twizzlers shapes and flavors vegan-friendly? Read on as we find out this and much more about Twizzlers.
Twizzlers – Vegan Or Not?
All varieties of Twizzlers are regarded as vegan-friendly.
This is because they contain no animal products that are common in many candies, including eggs, meat, dairy, or bee products.
But, what is vegan to one person may not be strictly vegan to another.
Some note that certain Twizzlers ingredients infringe on the exact definition of veganism.
For instance, the source of the sugar may be an issue with some strict vegans.
Moreover, it is very difficult to know the source of all these questionable vegan ingredients for sure.
Some vegans may be concerned about the following ingredients in Twizzlers.
Sugar is derived from either sugar beets or sugar cane. In some cases, unrefined sugar cane is made with animal bone char.
This is used to whiten the sugar crystals and although this process is not common throughout Europe, it is widely used in the U.S.
Hershey, Twizzlers’ parent company, states that they source their sugar from foreign and domestic sugar beet and sugar cane farms.
The bad news is that the nutrition label does not include information on where and how the sugar was sourced.
Carnauba wax is plant-based and found in many types of food.
Sourced from palm trees grown in Brazil, this wax does not come from any animal products, but its production can cause deforestation.
This can lead to devastating issues for local species and the conditions for the workers can be very challenging.
A water-loving fat, Lecithin can be sourced from both animals and plants.
When used in processed foods, such as Twizzlers and other candies, lecithin is typically derived from plant-based soy and not from an animal.
But, for some, the uncertainty of where it comes from is enough to deem Twizzlers non-vegan.
Twizzlers also contain palm oil, an ingredient that is associated with rainforest destruction and habitat loss throughout many regions of the world.
Although the most produced and consumed vegetable oil in the world, many vegans choose not to consume any food that contains palm oil due to ecological reasons.
Because Twizzlers are tough and chewy, many people believe that they contain common animal ingredients found in other candies, such as gelatin (made from animal bones, skin, and tendons), milk fat, and carmine (made from beetles).
Fortunately, Twizzlers do not contain any of these ingredients.
Here is a list of the ingredients found in one of the most popular Twizzlers’ flavors, Strawberry Twists:
- Corn syrup
- Palm oil (uh oh!)
- Wheat flour
- Citric acid
- Artificial color (red 40)
- Artificial flavor
- Soy lecithin
- Potassium sorbate
You can find a list of ingredients in all the Twizzlers flavors via the Hershey website here.
From the list above, the only ingredient that can be potentially considered non-vegan is glycerin.
This is a byproduct of soap manufacturers who commonly utilize animal fat in their production process.
However, Hershey has gone on record by saying that their glycerin is “a food additive made from various vegetable oils.”
Moreover, the red food coloring of Twizzlers is not derived from carmine. It is simply red dye #40, which is entirely insect-free.
So, in short Twizzlers are, for all intents and purposes, completely vegan. But, you may have some questions about certain ingredients, as mentioned above.
If you’re vegan and fancy a Twizzlers snack, you’re safe to do so as they contain no ingredients that are deemed non-vegan.
However, strict vegans may have issues with the sources of some of these ingredients so, from an ecological standpoint, you may want to avoid Twizzlers due to the use of palm oil.